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Feds: NY's 2012 economic growth ranked 37th in US

Michael Gormley, Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York's economy grew at a slower pace than the national rate in 2012, ranking 37th among all states, according to a federal report released Thursday.

The state's economic growth rate was 1.3 percent compared with the national rate of 2.5 percent, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce report released Thursday that is based on gross domestic product.

"For the second year in a row, we're looking at a mediocre number for New York," said E.J. McMahon of the fiscally conservative Manhattan Institute. "It's consistent with other economic data showing that we have begun to slow down relative to the national economy. If the job data are any indication, upstate's economy isn't growing at all."

There was no immediate comment from Gov. Andrew Cuomo who has made "jobs, jobs, jobs" his top priority. He is now pushing a proposal to attract new businesses associated with universities, which would allow the companies and their employees to work tax free for 10 years in the hope the companies will stay in New York afterward. Cuomo is also running a national advertising campaign saying "New York is Open for Business."

New York's growth in the federal report released Thursday was better than the 1.2 percent pace in 2011, but well below the 4 percent growth recorded in 2010. New York's economy declined 1.4 percent at the peak of the Great Recession in 2009.

McMahon said the 2010 high reflected a temporary bounce from the federal bailout of Wall Street.

In 2012, New York grew far less than other big states and more slowly than some neighbors.

California's economy grew 3.5 percent, Texas grew 4.8 percent, and Massachusetts grew 2.2 percent.

The data show New York trailed the nation's growth in areas including manufacturing, construction, corporate management, and health care.

The most recent employment figures show New York's unemployment rate was 7.8 percent, above the national average of 7.5 percent. But New York's unemployment rate improved from 8.2 percent in March, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.